28 March 2011

Away to a Domus Aurea

Away for a weekend in Brighton, so I walked from Hackney Wick to Liverpool Street Station on Saturday morning. I saw a skinny man, more-than-middle-aged and denim-clad, dancing in the street between Broadway Market and Columbia Road. He was outside his open front door and Cyndi Lauper-esque music (80's pop, girlish voice, catchy as hell) was blaring, and he had some moves. Wholeheartedly in his own shape-pulling world as the sun shone.

In Brighton on Sunday we saw a little girl dancing to a rock band playing outdoors. She was on her own cobbled stage, swinging her arms, folding her spine, making her own rules of motion. I would so much like to be like her. Then in The Lanes we watched four long haired and/or dreadlocked music-makers who had a double bass, banjo, snare drum and guitar. The percussionist had a tambourine around her foot so as she stomped the beat jangled. They even played The Belle of Belfast City. Brighton seems to be always sunny, and is offbeat with singalong rhythms. I became twelve again and bought beads to make necklaces. We sat in a patch of park as some teenagers lit up a spliff nearby, and I spelled out words on yellow string.




Then later, after a time of board games and educational DVDs that were originally VHS on the history and art of Rome and rounds of tea and pleasantly scratchy blankets, we played Octodad on a laptop. Octodad is an octopus who disguises himself as a dad in order to spy. It's not entirely clear what he's spying on. He wears a suit, writes in his journal using his moustache tentacle, and has got himself a human wife and two human children, whose suspicions he has to keep at bay. He looks like this:

He needs a banana to form the moustache on the mannequin he's trying to make. He will use the mannequin to distract the wife while she's having a romantic dinner with him so he can escape to the basement to get her a 'gift'. We didn't find out what the gift is. He can only get the banana (and also escape from the sushi chef who is hunting him down) if he carries out a series of tasks, which seem to mostly consist of clearing/throwing objects onto the floor with his leg and arm tentacles, and protecting his 'daughter' from spiders. When he 'walks' he looks like he's dancing. Dancing like the man in the East London street. Like he just doesn't care. Octodad is pretty cool.


Mike said...

You were that little girl once. When you were 2.5, you danced till midnight to a French rock band doing a gig in the yard of a farm in the Dordogne, stopping only to stuff yourself with more barbecue. The rest of us were exhausted, taking turns at standing up with you - mind you, we had been drinking, and you hadn't - well just a glass of cheap red you nicked from your gran.

Chris said...

Actually you were 18 months old.............

anna said...

This makes me happy - knowing that I once had stamina and moves to boot. And that I had wine foresight. Gran may not have been so chuffed, but I guess she was probably down a few by then at any rate... As was dad most likely, given that he didn't know how old his dancing daughter was.
I remember the photos of this night - I was wearing an awesome outfit. Man, where did it all go wrong? Ha.